Mela Out, Diwani In

New Indian restaurant takes over for Mela at 47 East Ridgewood Ave.

After 20 years operating in the village, "authentic" Indian kitchen Mela has closed up shop. In its place, however, a new team believes Indian cuisine can work at 47 East Ridgewood Avenue.

An employee in December said Diwani (or, "honor" in Hindi) took over for Mela in the fall.

The current owners could not be reached for comment. The e-mail address listed also was not in service.

According to its website, Diwani's chef "and his team expertly prepare fresh farm-to-table Indian dishes. It is a destination for the food lovers who look for authentic Indian food and snacks served in a traditional way. We offer fine culinary experience to our guests at our restaurant which is famed among the top most restaurants."

The menu contains all the staples of Indian food – you'll see tandooris, kebobs, curries, breads. Prices suggest the restaurant – which locally has competition in the form of Kailash and Brick Lane Curry House – is pretty moderate. Most dishes range from $14-21 and delivery is available. The lunch specials hover around $11.

The Mela interior is completely remade, with Diwani utilizing a dark ruby paint with black accents.

The Diwan Group previously operated a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, which closed in 2008. Another restaurant, on E. 52 St., remains open for business.

So, have you been there? What do you think? Does it give Kailash and Brick Lane a run for their money?

KNP January 14, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Moderate in every sense of the way. It will NOT give Brick Lane of Kailash any run for the money.
KNP January 14, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Is it Diwan (honor) or Diwani (nutty girl?).
Ridgewooder January 15, 2013 at 02:27 AM
I don't think this town can support three Indian restaurants.
Ridgewodian January 15, 2013 at 11:14 PM
Previously a fan of Mela, I tried this new place two weekends ago. Massive naan bread, much larger curry portions than Mela had, cheaper than Brick Lane, and taste-wise it stands up to any Indian restaurant I've been to in Ridgewood or NYC. Plus we got a dessert on the house (not sure if that's standard for dinner, but we welcomed it). Definitely worth trying if you are a fan of Indian food.
Jessica in Ridgewood/Paramus February 08, 2013 at 05:38 AM
This new place is MUCH better than Kailash! The quality across the board was better and fresher, including more choices, more flavorful sauces, a better take on the standards (such as Palak Paneer that is as good as Curry in a Hurry in Manhattan), a good Mulligatawney soup and even free tea. My only regret....not enough time during lunch to go back for seconds. Hope they can stay open...it's worth the visit, and they trump their Bergen Co. competitors! ---A Very Picky Indian Food Lover


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